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Symptoms » Congestive heart failure
 

Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure: Introduction

Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is a very serious condition in which the heart muscle has been damaged. Although the heart continues to beat in congestive heart failure, it is too weak to efficiently pump enough oxygen-rich blood to and from the lungs and the rest of the body. Congestive heart failure is a common complication of heart attack and other types of heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases that damage the heart muscle. These include hypertension, heart valve disorders, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy. Congestive heart failure can also result from anemia.

Any disease or condition that increases the risk of developing heart disease or cardiovascular disease also increases the risk of eventually developing congestive heart failure as a complication. These risks include having diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include being male, of African-American ancestry, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Having a lot of long-term stress, smoking and having a family history of heart disease or cardiovascular disease are also risk factors.

There are two types of congestive heart failure. In left-sided congestive heart failure, the heart is not able to pump blood effectively out to the body, which results in blood backing up into the veins that carry blood from the lungs to the heart. This increases blood pressure in the lungs and leads to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. This is called pulmonary edema and is a very serious condition, which can be fatal. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and low oxygen levels in the blood.

In right-sided congestive heart failure, the weak pumping of the heart allows blood to back up in the veins that lead from the body to the heart. This leads to swelling of the lower extremities (edema) and other symptoms. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of congestive heart failure.

Making a diagnosis of congestive heart failure includes a complete medical evaluation, medical history and physical examination. If symptoms are acute and severe, this is often done in an emergency room. The physical exam includes listening to the sounds of the heart and the lungs with a stethoscope. Certain sounds, such as a crackling or bubbling sound on the lungs, indicate congestion in the lungs and may point to a diagnosis of congestive heart failure.

A chest X-ray is generally performed to see the size and shape of the heart and can reveal lung congestion and other conditions, such as pneumonia. Other tests may include an echocardiogram, which can evaluate the heart valves and determine how much blood the heart is able to pump.

Other testing may be done to rule-out or diagnose underlying causes of congestive heart failure or other conditions that can mimic congestive heart failure. For example, testing generally includes an EKG, which takes a picture of the electrical activity of the heart and can reveal abnormalities in the rhythm of the heart and damage done to the heart due to heart attack and some other forms of heart disease. A coronary angiogram may also be performed to look for blocked coronary arteries.

It is possible that a diagnosis of congestive heart failure can be missed or delayed because the symptoms may develop gradually, be mild and can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. For more information about misdiagnosis and diseases and conditions that can mimic congestive heart failure, refer to misdiagnosis of congestive heart failure.

Treatment of congestive heart failure can include lifestyle and dietary changes, medications, and heart transplant in some cases. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of congestive heart failure....more »

Congestive heart failure: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of congestive heart failure may be overlooked or delayed because in some cases there are no symptoms until the condition becomes severe or because symptoms can develop gradually allowing a person to adapt to them. Some symptoms are vague and not specific to congestive heart failure. These include weakness, fatigue, confusion, anxiety and dizziness. ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Congestive heart failure:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Congestive heart failure. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Congestive heart failure: Causes

Home Diagnostic Testing and Congestive heart failure

Home medical tests possibly related to Congestive heart failure:

Causes of Types of Congestive heart failure:

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Congestive heart failure Treatments

Congestive heart failure is not always fatal and the prognosis depends on the severity of congestive heart failure, the underlying cause, age, general health, and coexisting disease, such as diabetes. The most effective congestive heart failure treatment plans employ a multifaceted approach.

This includes preventive care aimed at minimizing the ...Congestive heart failure Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Congestive heart failure may include:

Review further information on Congestive heart failure Treatments.

Congestive heart failure: Animations

Medications or substances causing Congestive heart failure:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Congestive heart failure as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Congestive heart failure:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Congestive heart failure as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Advil (Ibuprofen) and Bumex (Bumetanide) interaction
  • Advil (Ibuprofen) and Diachlor (Chlorothiazide) interaction
  • Advil (Ibuprofen) and Diuril (Chlorothiazide) interaction
  • Advil (Ibuprofen) and Diucardin (Hydroflumethiazide) interaction
  • Advil (Ibuprofen) and Saluron (Hydroflumethiazide) interaction
  • Advil (Ibuprofen) and Edecrin (Ethacrynic Acid) interaction
  • more interactions...»

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Causes of Similar Symptoms to Congestive heart failure

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Congestive heart failure:

Congestive heart failure: Deaths

Read more about causes and Congestive heart failure deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Congestive heart failure

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to...read more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of a...read more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this...read more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are...read more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to...read more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is...read more »

Congestive heart failure: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Congestive heart failure

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Congestive heart failure: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Congestive heart failure: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is a major chronic disease for older adults, accounting for about 260,000 deaths a year. The majority of the nearly 5 million U.S. patients with heart failure are older than 65 years. In 1995, $3.4 billion was paid by Medicare for heart failure. As the "baby boomers" age during the next 40 years, the number of heart failure patients older than 65 is expected to double. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Heart Failure in Older Adults: CDC-OC)

Congestive heart failure is a term often used to describe heart failure. But congestion, or the buildup of fluid, is only one symptom of heart failure and does not occur in all people who have heart failure. (Source: excerpt from HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: NWHIC)

Congestive heart failure is a major chronic disease for older adults, accounting for about 260... (Source: excerpt from Facts About Heart Failure in Older Adults: CDC-OC)

Congestive heart failure is a term often used to describe heart failure. But congestion, or the... (Source: excerpt from HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: NWHIC)

Definitions of Congestive heart failure:

Inability to pump enough blood to avoid congestion in the tissues
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Complication of heart diseases; defective cardiac filling and/or impaired contraction and emptying, resulting in the heart's inability to pump a sufficient amount of blood to meet the needs of the body tissues or to be able to do so only with an elevated filling pressure.
- (Source - CRISP)

Weakness of the heart muscle that leads to a buildup of fluid in body tissues.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)

Detailed list of causes of Congestive heart failure

The list below shows some of the causes of Congestive heart failure mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Congestive heart failure?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Congestive heart failure. Of the 140 causes of Congestive heart failure that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 3 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 6 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 5 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 132 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Congestive heart failure:

The following list of conditions have 'Congestive heart failure' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Congestive heart failure or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Congestive heart failure:

The following list of medical conditions have Congestive heart failure or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Causes of Congestive heart failure Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Congestive heart failure based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Congestive heart failure:

    Medical Conditions associated with Congestive heart failure:

    Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Cardiovascular symptoms (3192 causes)

    Symptoms related to Congestive heart failure:

    Heart failure (274 causes), Weak pulse (51 causes), Circulatory symptoms (1579 causes), Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Breathlessness (1528 causes), Chest pain (1053 causes), Heart valve defects, Coronary artery disease (106 causes), Chronic alcoholism, Pedal edema

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Congestive heart failure

    Medical research papers related to Congestive heart failure include:

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    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Congestive Heart Failure:

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